So. It’s September.
According to the weatherman, that means autumn has arrived. But anyone living in Blighty will know it’s been autumn for, oh…
…at least the LAST MONTH!
Apparently, we’ve just had the wettest august on record. No, really? Any Brit could’ve told ’em that just by looking out of the window!
Sadly, it seems September isn’t starting out any better and now it’s even getting a bit nippy in the mornings and evenings. Marvellous. But on the bright side, September also means it’s no longer too early to talk Halloween.
As you know, I’ve had Halloween on the brain for weeks now, so I thought it was about time I revealed a little of what’s been bubbling in my cauldron.
First up, it’s potions and poisons… complete with 9 FREE bottle labels for you to download, so you can get started on Halloween yourself.
The Witch at OneandSeventy’s Apothecary
I’ve got right into the art of altered bottles (that’s decorating them for us old-schoolers) I only ever meant to make a few, but I may have got a little carried away.
Damn you dismal weather!
In dragging out my craft supplies, I appear to have discovered my inner Alchemist.
From Venom of Spider and Shrunken Heads, to a Petrified Bat and even a little Fairy Dust, there’s a full-on Halloween Apothecary going on in my office!
And my collection of potions & poison bottles is growing by the day.
No self-respecting witch would be without some Blessing Seeds straight out of Practical Magic or a selection of bugs… embalmed in blood of course.
It’s been brill getting back into crafting; I’ve had such a blast making these.
Each one started out as a plain old bottle or jar. Then, using all sorts of techniques, some recently acquired goodies, and a whole host of long-forgotten bits from my craft stash, each bottle has been lovingly hand-decorated and filled with all manner of curious contents…
…as befitting The Witch at OneandSeventy.
I know you’re not supposed to have favourites, but I have a few.
In particular, the Full Moon Philtre in the tall glass at the back of the display and I’m really chuffed with the Dragon’s Eye Embalming Fluid bottle.
The sculpting around the eye, side and back of the bottle was made with PVA glue and tissue paper.
It’s a time consuming technique, but actually quite therapeutic. It’s also quite effective, I think you’ll agree.
This next one is another favourite. It was the first bottle I did.
Can you guess what it used to be?
Thank you Hendrick’s for the fab gin bottles!
It’s ok… it was empty.
There’s more than one benefit to crafting, you know!
I made the spider stopper using a polystyrene ball and a plastic spider left over from last year’s Samhain mantel. First, I cut the end off the ball, to make a flat base. Then I painted the ball with black acrylic paint, glued the spider to the front and then glued the ball to the original stopper.
Each potion bottle has a unique label, which I designed in Photoshop using images found on the Interweb, primarily The Graphics Fairy. Each label was then aged with used tea bags before being glued onto the bottle.
Or printed onto card and used as a tag.
As a special treat for my lovely readers, I’ve created an A4 collage sheet of some of my labels so you can print them out at home. Click on the image below to download the free printable.
Please remember, these labels are for your personal use only. Whilst I can grant you permission to use my designs, I do not own the copyright for any of the individual images.
Simply print out the sheet (in black & white, or colour, if you wish), cut out the labels and glue them onto your bottles. Before gluing, you might want to age them so they look like they’ve been sitting awhile on a dusty old witch’s shelf.
The shelf. Not the witch.
I printed my labels on a laser printer, so all I did was dab them with a damp used tea bag and let it dry. If you’re printing yours on an inkjet, you could still try this technique, but I’d recommend using a tea bag that was almost dried out. You might want to test it first, just to make sure the ink doesn’t run.
If you’re a fellow crafter, try aging your labels using a stamping pad – gold, bronze, copper, etc. I happen to still have a couple of chalk inkpads from my card making days.
The “Chestnut Roan” gives a lovely aged finish and has been invaluable for distressing not only these bottle labels, but also the covers of my DIY Spell Books.
Using your stamp pad, lightly dab in a few places on your label, or use a sponge or piece of cloth to lightly “smudge” the ink on.
Don’t forget the edges! Gently rub your tea bag, or stamp pad around each side, to darken the edges of your label. Another method you could use is to burn the edges but PLEASE promise me you’ll be careful!
And that concludes the tour of Suzy Homemaker’s Halloween Apothecary.
What do you think? As always, I’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below and let me know!
There’s LOADS of time between now and Halloween, so why not have a go at making some altered bottles yourself? There’s a ton of simply gorgeous ideas out there and not just for Halloween.
I’m already planning a dining room where a Witch’s Apothecary would be right at home all year round.
Do please let me know if you use any of my labels, I would LOVE to see your photos!
A hui hou,